The best ginger cake

ginger cake

The tiny one is napping (she’s crawling!) so I’m doing this for you, my darlings, instead of having a nap myself because if I don’t force myself to get back into the swing of posting soon then I never will, and that would make me sad.  I’m not going to apologise for it being so long – it’s my highly unprofessional blog, so stuff ya – but I will try to update more regularly from now on because I’m starting to get a little antsy about having not much to do with my brains and Titch has started having nice long sleeps during the day so I’ll be able to get a post done in one sitting now.

Right now I’m sitting here with a shitful cold accompanied by an itchy rash, and it’s bloody hot outside – I feel like my whole body is just making an annoying whinging sound, like I’m just a whinge on legs.  I hate feeling like that, it makes me cross and – yes –whingey.  Hnnnnnnyyyyeeeeeeee.

Today I’m giving you a cake.  I don’t usually do cake, I’m not against them or anything, I just can’t often be fucked. [Side note – have you noticed how almost all cooking blogs are mostly cakes or sweets of some kind?  Why is that?  Is everyone just eating cake the whole time, every day?  How come I don’t get cake?  Because you never make them and neither does Andy, you fool]  Anyway, this cake is fucking amazing – it’s Nigel Slater’s ginger cake from The Kitchen Diaries, I’ve fiddled with it a bit of course, because I just can’t help myself.  His recipe calls for stem ginger in syrup, but they don’t sell that anywhere within easy walking distance of me and I have a small child and I feel that going off on specialty food item journeys for a cake is a little extravagant so I’ve replaced his stem ginger with a combination of ginger marmalade and fresh grated ginger.  You can use candied ginger too.  For me, the important thing is that it is gingery as fuck.  I’ve also replaced his sultanas with dried muscatels because I can.

If you can stand it, he recommends letting it cool and wrapping up to let it mature for a couple of days and I can definitely attest to this being great advice – but if you can’t wait it’s still great straight outta the oven.


250g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
½-1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bicarb soda
pinch of salt
200g golden syrup
125g butter
3 TBS ginger marmalade
1 packed, heaped TBS (20g) grated fresh ginger
100g dried muscatels
125g dark muscovado sugar (or just regular brown sugar)
2 large eggs
240mls milk


Line a 20-22cm square cake tin with baking paper.  Preheat the oven to 180°.  Sift the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, bi-carb, and salt into a bowl.

Put the golden syrup, ginger marmalade, grated ginger, and butter into a small saucepan and warm over a low heat unitl the butter is melted.  Add the muscatels and the sugar and allow to bubble until the sugar is dissolved and everything is combined nicely.  Stir so the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom. Take off the heat.

Break the eggs into a bowl, mix in the milk.  Pour the hot butter and syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and stir firmly with a large metal spoon – or use a mixer like I do. Stir in the milk and eggs mixture.  The cake batter will be pretty sloppy (and warm) and it should be mixed well so there aren’t any stray pockets of flour.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins – until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean. This is such a great cake. Do no attempt to ice it, there’s no call for that.

A note about ovens – I always use the fan-forced setting on my oven but it means that the oven is a little hotter than the temperature dial says so I tend to set it at about 10-20° lower and bake for longer to avoid the burnt outside under-cooked inside malarky.

2 thoughts on “The best ginger cake”

  1. Thank you for this! Also agreed on the cakes and sweets taking up inordinate amounts of space on food blogs. Savories for the win! But this one looks yuuuuuummm.

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely worth it. I’ve also made it with molasses instead of golden syrup which gives it a slightly more savoury note.

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